Saturday, April 9, 2011

Abandonment and engulfment

Relational issues in emeshed and distancing families. In essence a list of symptoms to make an assessment on.

engulf symptoms

The symptoms described in the fear of abandonment will pressure the partner to do precisely that - leave.

Stingray 2

Behind the fear of engulfment is the fear of rejection - thus I reject them before they reject me.



  1. Hi Tony,

    This is interesting but confusing to me. You said “behind the fear of engulfment is the fear of rejection.” Isn’t being abandoned like rejection? I guess I don’t really see how somebody who is afraid of abandonment wouldn’t also be afraid of rejection.

  2. I am not too sure of what you are saying KYLady.

    the point I was trying to make is the person who has a fear of engulfment may really have a fear of rejection. They feel engulfed and thus push away (reject) the other before the other has a chance to push them away (reject them).


  3. You pointed out that fear of engulfment is about being afraid of rejection. It seems to me that people who are afraid of being abandoned should be afraid of rejection too because rejection and abandonment are sort of like the same thing. Maybe not, and if I’ve only made this more nebulous, please ignore my comment :)